When you’re living with cancer, you may deal with problems such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating or trouble multitasking. People commonly refer to these cognitive changes as “chemo brain.” For some, the changes are subtle and temporary. But for others, they’re more noticeable and may continue after treatment ends.

It isn’t clear what causes chemo brain. There are a variety of possible contributing factors, including your cancer itself or its treatments; stress that contributes to chronic insomnia, depression and anxiety; fatigue, pain or certain vitamin deficiencies.

What is clear is the importance of evaluating cognitive changes if they occur. Untreated, these changes can affect performance at work and school, family roles and overall quality of life.

Our Brain Fitness Laboratory

The Brain Fitness Lab at Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute focuses on helping you have the best brain health and mental function possible as you undergo cancer treatment. With better brain fitness, you may have better memory, concentration, multitasking abilities and more. We care for people of all ages and strive to minimize the impact of chemo brain on your well-being.

Our team includes psychiatrists, psychometricians and a clinical neuropsychologist. They work together to:

  • Assess cognitive changes — We provide a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation. We also offer laboratory studies to check for specific blood markers linked to cognitive deficits and brain imaging studies, if necessary.
  • Diagnose your condition — Using computerized testing, our team evaluates your memory, processing speed, executive function (mental flexibility) and word-finding fluency. Testing may help confirm a chemo brain diagnosis.
  • Treat cognitive deficits — Our speech pathologists and occupational therapists may provide traditional cognitive rehabilitation. We also offer cognitive training using BrainHQ by Posit Science. This online program offers a personalized workout for your brain. More than 100 scientific studies have found that BrainHQ works and may offer cognitive benefits, such as better memory and improved word-finding ability.

If you or your loved one are experiencing cognitive changes since your cancer diagnosis or treatment, contact the Cancer Patient Support Center. We’re happy to provide more information or schedule an appointment.

Nutrition & Exercise

Proper nutrition and exercise can help you get the nutrients you need to maintain your body weight and strength. They may also help you fight infection and feel better and stronger before, during and after cancer treatment. Our team of specialists will work with your physician team to develop a plan that’s right for you.

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